Annual Hurley Boardriders Teams Championships in Whangamata

The annual Hurley Boardriders Teams Championships was held on April 13th to 14th in Whangamata in great waves.

This event is a teams event where each boardriders club in the country puts in a team of 5 surfers. Each team consists of one Junior surfer, one Woman surfer, one Over 40 surfer and two Open surfers. 

Raglan Pointboardriders team included Theo Morse(Junior), Alani Morse(Women), Larry Fisher(Over 40) and Caleb Cutmore(Open) and Luke Hughes(Open).

The format is an individual competition for each division and then a tag team event. Points are added up and the winning club wins $1500 plus an all expenses paid trip to the Gold Coast to compete in the Usher Cup World Club Championships. Raglan Pointboardriders were victorious in 2022 and buzzed out on the Gold Coast experience so they, like every team, wanted badly to win the prestigious prize again.

It was great having our club president Luke Hughes in the team. He was unlucky in the Open men’s not getting through his first heat in a real tight one that could have gone either way. Alani Morse was in the same boat. She put a great performance in her first heat leading the whole way until the last two minutes. She caught the first wave of the set only to pull off the back and see the two surfers in second and third both get the best waves of the heat to knock her back into third and eliminated. Our other 3 surfers all managed to make the finals of their division. Caleb Cutmore getting 2nd in the Open men’s, and both Theo Morse and Larry Fisher finishing 3rd in their finals.

Coming into day 2 we were sitting just behind Keyhole Boardriders from Piha and Bayboardriders from Mount Maunganui. So now it was all about the tag team event and we had to win it to get enough points for the win.

The tag team is what makes this event fun and unpredictable. Each team chooses the order of their surfers and has 50 minutes to get a good score each and get back to the beach in time in order not to get a 5 point penalty deduction. It’s a beach start where you have sprint down the sand and paddle out. Surfers can catch as many waves as they want however your highest scoring wave counts. Basically you have 10 minutes each and after the paddle out you may only have 4-5 minutes to catch a wave before you start eating into the time of the next surfer. It’s a pressure cooker format where mistakes can unravel the best of teams easily. Each team would need to progress through two rounds of this format to make the final four teams. Raglan Point Boardriders won their first and second round making it to the final. Keyhole Boardriders who were looking favourites to win by dominating the individual divisions self destructed in their semi final with a couple of their surfers taking up too much time which didn’t give their last two surfers enough time to find quality waves.

In the final the swell had increased considerably making the paddle outs very difficult with the limited time. Our team put in a valiant effort and tried their hearts out but could not get the big scores to take the win and finished 3rd in the final and 3rd overall. BayBoardriders took the tag team win and the overall points to book their place into the World Boardriders Championships to be held in January 2025 at the Gold Coast. Our team was disappointed not to take the win but we were pretty content with our effort and solid performance. The team vibe and support was great to be part of.

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